Mission Possible? SFPD Nails 100 Percent of Homicide Suspects in 2009
Maybe the SFPD ate their Wheaties. Maybe they made a New Year's resolution. But you know that bit about the San Francisco Police Department having one of the worst arrest rates of homicide suspects in
With an arrest of a laughing,
incoherent Peter Fong after he allegedly slit the throat of a sushi restaurant
owner on January 7, followed by the Wednesday arrest of Tommy Thomas -- who allegedly stabbed a victim while sitting in a wheelchair and then scurried off on foot -- the SFPD is in a position some never thought possible. Two for two in
2009. A 100 percent homicide arrest rate.
"I'm glad you noticed," said SFPD spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka.
Of course she is. The police hasn't had exactly a lot of good
press lately when it comes to homicides. The Chron published a downer of a story on the rising murder rate in the city. The Snitch pointed out
that the city has one of the lowest homicide clearance rates (the percent of
cases in which there's been an arrest made) of cities of the same size. (The
national average in 2007 was 61 percent, according to the FBI; SF's was a
measly 25.) This week, it came out that homicide investigators are stalling on
existing cases because of a cap on overtime hours.
Not to rain on its parade, but the department has had some help with their new 100 percent success rate. In what Tomioka calls an "extreme case of public assistance," a 300-pound minister "did the job for us" by sitting on the murder suspect in the OfficeMax parking lot until the police would show up minutes later in the first case. And on Wednesday, the police reviewed surveillance video shot by local businesses to identify the suspect who cops later found with a bloody knife.
"It's clear that when we have help from the public, we can
solve crime, particularly homicide," Tomioka said.
So, you have your marching orders,